Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Holding On ~ Letting Go

Here are some golden beech tree leaves, chewed on by insects, spent and weighed down a bit by an early November snow. While the leaves of all the other trees have fallen, the beech trees hold on. There's undoubtedly a wonderfully mysterious, botanical reason for this, but the leaves also offer us pause for reflecting about ourselves.

It's about holding on. Each leaf holds on by a thin stem. I'm holding on by a thread, or I'm holding on for dear life, we might say. It was poor Job who coined the phrase, "by the skin of my teeth." Not giving up can feel like that: Holding on for the sake of the children. Holding onto a job that's just awful, but is needed for now. Holding onto friendships. Holding on to dear memories. Holding on to each other in fears or darkness. Holding on to faith or hope.

Sometimes the holding on doesn't serve us well, but leaves us distracted and tired: Holding on to old memories which feed resentments. Holding on to too many things (stuff). Even holding on to another person which relationship isn't serving us well, but is keeping us small, un-evolved or even feeling inwardly ugly. Holding onto past mistakes and regrets, long ago forgiven. That's a big one!

We might have a deeper, silent look at the beech leaves above and give thanks for the holding on which reveals some personal strength, courage or depth of generosity. Ever wonder where it comes from!? Conversely, we might pray for clarity and resolution when, at least in an inner, secret place, we know we'd be better off if we could/would just let go.


  1. There are times to hold on and certainly there are times to let go. Maybe the birch trees don't want to let go of their once life giving leaves for fear that they may never know new growth. With the letting go of things, it allows for new beginnings after a time of restful healing.

  2. When we take a close up look at the late autumn trees we see that behind each fallen leaf there is tiny bud which contains a leaf that will appear next spring. What a promise!

  3. Many times we do feel as though we are barely holding on. Afraid to let go and be blown away in the breeze. It takes faith and courage to let go.

  4. I like to tell my children to hold on to their dreams and never let go. Sometimes holding on to things gives hope for tomorrow.

  5. How will we know when holding on is a good thing or a bad thing? Holding on can make us feel stressed and anxious, but can be necessary even when you just want to let it all go. Yet letting go of long held onto resentments is also difficult. I am not sure if I should be like the birch leaf or not.

  6. Letting go of old resentments is difficult - sometimes we become good friends to our resentments. I know people who keep old resentments so "crisp" they wouldn't know how to BE without them. Some people with resentments from decades ago and who predictably reference them bitterly within minutes of any conversation. We can be owned by resentment. Not free.